Protecting Children: WNYRCFL Supports Successful Prosecution

Dalton Wilke, 46, was most definitely on the wrong path in life. He spent hours in online chat rooms having sexually explicit conversations with minors in an attempt to seduce them. After grooming one teen for five months, Wilke made plans to meet in person at a suburban park. However, the teen was a police detective working undercover with the FBI – and Wilke's plans for a tryst in the park turned out very differently.

3/8/11 – Protecting Children: WNYRCFL Supports Successful Prosecution

Dalton Wilke, 46, was most definitely on the wrong path in life. He spent hours in online chat rooms having sexually explicit conversations with minors in an attempt to seduce them. After grooming one teen for five months, Wilke made plans to actually meet in person at a suburban park. However, the teen was a police detective working undercover with the FBI – and Wilke's plans for a tryst in the park turned out very differently when Batavia police officers along with members of the FBI's Buffalo Division promptly arrested him. It was all part of Project Safe Childhood – with the Western NY RCFL (WNYRCFL) playing a critical role in the investigation.

Upon Wilke's arrest in 2008, FBI agents seized computers from his home which were brought to the WNYRCFL for analysis. FBI Examiner Laura Heldwein confirmed the existence of child pornography on Wilke's computers, and press reports stated a 48-minute video was recovered showing young boys engaged in sexually explicit behavior. Examiner Heldwein also testified about her findings during Wilke's 2009 trial. Wilke was convicted in U.S. District Court of online enticement of a minor, receipt of child pornography and possession of child pornography, and sentenced on March 8, 2011 to 10 years in prison; 25 years of supervised released; ordered to pay a $2,500 fine, and; ordered to forfeit his 2004 pickup truck to authorities.

The investigation was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood. FBI Special Agent Matthew Braverman nominated Detective Todd Crossett of the Batavia Police Department for an award from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children for his work on the case. This investigation is a stark reminder for parents to monitor their children's internet activities – click here to read the FBI's "Parent's Guide to Internet Safety."

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